(Farcical) Stories from the Radical Anarchist Underground: "Jon Inselton"

Jonathan Ernst Inselton (Born: 25/11/1974; Gaylord, MN)


   Deep down, Jon always wanted to be cool. Jon, sadly, was not very cool, at least he never felt that way.  To give an emblematic example from his childhood, his mother, to his eternal shame, insisted on shrieking “Joooonnathaaaan,” in her atrociously thick New York accent (however withered by Minnesotan winters), always at the worst time, which seemed to be every time anyone else was around.  Jon didn't ache to be accepted within the social scene that made up his small town, which he often described as "vapid and depraved." On the contrary, he always felt that acceptance by the "in crowd" at his school or at the local hang outs would have secured his eternal "lameness," but that didn't make it any easier.  His attitude toward his peers is largely what made him such an outsider, though he could never understand how his disdainful sarcasm and open mockery of others would be so unappreciated.

As a preteen, growing up on Penn Avenue, by the southeast corner of Titlow Lake, he would spend whole weekends alone, in the graveyard across route 22, brooding in his (mostly) self-imposed solitude. A few years later, though he could have sworn he had felt decades, he was doing pretty much the same thing, only at that point he was usually smoking.  What else was there to do, really? I mean, it’s not like much happened in Gaylord.   Either you like hockey, TV or something else that Jon thought was lame, which he didn’t, so he spent most of his free time (which was limited by his parents' authoritarian "family management plan") getting high on the crap he got from the old “radicals” who lived in a mini-socialist camp/squatter settlement—“undiscovered since the 60’s”—or so they said; they had a few tarps stretched between trees with some well worn tents in the woods that separated the cemetery from the lake.  Bear in mind that this “mini settlement" was really just the three of them—Randy, Horace and “Tulip,” as he demanded Jon call him.  It was entirely unclear if they had ever really been radical in any way, though Horace was still pretty good on a skateboard, if that counts.  Thing was, it didn't matter to Jon: they didn’t make him feel uncomfortable, so he preferred their company to just about anyone else. It seemed like a win-win to him and the feeling was mutual: he listened to their stories and they fed his disgust for humanity with subtle gestures of contempt, as well as flippant (and very stoned) rants about their pet peeves of the week—Pederast Priests and their pervert friends in city hall; all those damned kids drowning out reality with their Walkman-CD players; professional sports....ESPECIALLY the (FUCKING!) Twins general manager trying to force all good Minnesotans to commit suicide just so he can cash in on his coffin investments, etc.. 
Jon would have ignored their nonsense rants all together were it not for the occasionally semi-coherent (faux) philosophical diatribes about capitalism and the flaws with society in general, which—despite their being decidedly half baked in these barely plausible iterations; all in all their grudges helped soothe his angst by justifying his disdain. 

   By the time he was ready to either drop out of high-school or shoot himself he ran into LSD and everything changed; with each psychedelic "breakthrough," which everyone else called psychotic episodes, one of which was even legally classified as an overdose, his level of scorn grew, while his ideas pushed him toward a radically post-Nietzschean and hyper–Machiavellian incarnation of Diogenese of Sinope in the late 20th century.  He was a soul reveling in the nihilism of his derision, not unlike a dog at his dish full of cheese; his ferocity was basking in hatred, hoping that his thirst for carnage would eventually, not to mention profoundly, be sated.  All of this before the age of 16.

It’s unclear whether Randy, Horace or Tulip were aware of what they were doing to the tender soul that was Jon Ernst Insleton, but even if they were it wouldn’t have made any difference; by the time Jon left Gaylord it was already far too late for reform. Reason be damned, he was going to light the match and watch the world burn.

  Almost everything people did irritated him, to the point where—even as a 38 year old, mind you—he all too often acted like some 16 year old prick with a drunkard for father and a whining bitch for a mother: (that’s right) a nervous man-child, hiding behind a chip on his shoulder, all the while smack in the middle of a shit storm.  He couldn’t stand the way the weather girl on the local TV was so cute; how people paid extra money for “doggie bags” to clean up after their freakishly cute pups instead of just using newspaper bags; or how all the girls talked about were the boys, and all the boys talked about was how the girls didn’t like the sports teams; he knew it was shallow, but he couldn’t change how it made him fume.  At the top of his list, though, unquestionably highest among all of (the many) other things that pissed him off, something that literally could not have bothered him more, was the way that everyone (it seemed)—whether during casual or professional conversation—with men and women alike—would make some weak effort not to stare at his lazy eye, but would inevitably go back to it with their gaze (in a way that he was convinced conveyed “a malicious and sadistic sneer of condemnation and shame,” or so he admitted, once, in an A.O.L. chat-room for “outcasts and misfits” under the screen name “EatPoopDude”). The unexpressed, and yet unequivocal embarrassment seared into his ego as surely as a cattle farmer’s brand, every time burning a deeper scar, one that he would use nourish his distaste for humanity.   He officially started his personal campaign to destroy, if not at the very least disrupt and severely inconvenience, the status-quo on May 1st, 1988:
While on a campout with his neighbors cousins at the lake: while they sat around a fire, with the (drunken) older kids “droppin’ knowledge” on the younger family members and associated  “youngins,” a hodgepodge of crap which was so awful that the twelfth comment about “keepin’ it real” put him over the edge, not merely because of their pre-pubescent idiocy, but really due to the stink of their farce: the adopted mannerisms, lifted from their rurally sheltered, shockingly white-supremacist-leaning distortion of hip-hop, was so nauseating that he literally vomited a gulp of the financial-light garbage (aka, shit American beer, which—in this case—was actually called “Red, White and Brew”) which they had so graciously supplied, and he simply couldn’t take it.  He made up some excuse and snuck off into the woods to smoke a joint. 
  While sitting out on the water he realized that putting up with such abominations of human intellect was tantamount to complicity and in an epiphany of self-awareness (unlike any he had ever experienced) he finally admitted that he was unwilling to play that role.  He waxed aimlessly over how it was precisely this passivity that The Man (as Randy and his dodgy cohorts had always referred to any authority figure, whether a police officer or a school teacher) so desperately needed him, and the rest of the herd, to swallow--hook, line & sinker--for the rest of their lives--in order for the status quo’s “illuminated idea of perfection” keep itself afloat. In his newly adopted discordant role he found himself empowered and was enthralled.  It was the first time he had felt such a decidedly sexual attraction to a concept, or anything for that matter.  He actually wanted to fuck his own ideas about the way he could, and would, tear down the common-nonsense delusions of “taboo” and “good-taste,” and it made him wet in a way he had never experienced; it was border line mystical.  
The joint burned his fingers as it went out, along with with Jon, next to his tent to the side of the rabble.  But make no doubt,  his mind had been made up: he was a “revolutionary” now, whatever that meant in his post-modern age of Reagan and Yuppies and cocain.
 That said, by the time he was a card carrying member of what would be a sad collection of “asocials associated” kind of groups, he had already begun to realize that he was unlike many of his perceived co-conspirators and that his salvation was no nearer. 

   The other "agitators," activists, REAL patriots, or at least many of them, espoused a deep seated discomfort with the main stream, and many of them plotted to "enlighten the masses" through half hearted civil disobedience campaigns, pamphlets and sticker bombing (remember, this was before the emergence of the blogosphere), but their "rage" was so hollow.  Most of their "schemes" never got further than a few pages jotted down in their loose-leaf notebooks and—at their corniest—plans for a group tattoo to “bring it all together, man.”  Despite all the talk and a few good times, deep down he knew that, yet again, he was apart, but this time it was even worse than before: when he was younger he had always felt hated, but nonetheless, or maybe therefore, superior. His disdain was justified by the banality of what he witnessed from the masses.  This time, though, his frustrations were no longer due to qualities that he could defiantly take pride in, without the burden of anguish, for now even those who he looked up to thought he was a weirdo and the things he despised were the same things he was saying, only he was "the real radical." This time, even though it was the very same contrarianism that had brought him to these people, it was the “partners” who he had so hopefully believed were on board with the program who had broken his dreams and this pain and dejection went straight to his core.  In their actions he saw nothing less than betrayal. Violations of the very spirit of the movement as he so clearly perceived it, and he was devastated by their shallowness and egoism. Their rejection of his radicalism as "creepy," of all things!, wounded him severely and-- despite their pleas--this only strengthened his resolve. 

He resented how it was just a game for many of these sniveling little turds, or worse yet another notch in a series of popularity contests for some trust-fund babies from the Upper West Side. He came to loathe them as much as the brainwashed masses that the “revolutionaries” on the ultimate-Frisbee team had once professed to be steering to the “promised pasture,” which—of course—was nothing more than a new field filled with the same old bullshit. The fact of the matter was that Jon had never naively convinced himself that his beliefs and actions were aimed at an improved lot for the world.  His (former) “friends,” if diagnosable sociopaths like Jon Inselton could be said to genuinely have friends, really thought they were going to immanentize the eschaton of communist revolution and save humanity from itself; Jon, on the other hand, was bent on destruction and chaos at all levels: an hypocrisy-hating, order-loathing iconoclast of monumental proportions.  That’s how he saw himself, at least, and that’s all that mattered.


   His personal war against society raged from protest march to pamphlet pandering, mostly taking place in already gentrified neighborhoods that were amused by his antics until he didn’t leave a big enough tip at the coffee shop.  He moved around the central and northeastern parts of the United States, once going to Canada before being officially asked to leave and not return, and he attempted to sew dissent until he was killed on March 14th, 2012, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The events recounted here (as they were originally described by Walter Mintner, the man who shared a holding cell with Insleton in the 18th Police District headquarters at 55th and Pine in the hours leading up to his death and was the last person to see him alive), cannot technically be verified due to the sensitive nature of what transpired, but this is--apparently--what happened:

In Walter Mintner’s own words: 

“(Insleton) must of really been on some kinda heavy shit, or at least he seemed like he was, ‘cause he looked fuckin’ crazy, with his eyes all poppin’ out’a his head and shit, and he would not shut the fuck up! I mean for real, he just kept going on and on about how “the Man was to blame” –this, and “the damn Jews were running everything in Washington”-that, how he “killed those bastards, stashed their shit and called the cops just to fuck with their heads and get away clean” and shit.  I don’t know if it was really like he said, but it was a crazy as fuck story and I’m glad to tell it; wait, hey, you gonna put this in the paper or some shit? If you is, just don’t say it was me in here with him or my ol’ lady’ll flip the fuck out when she find out I was booked, again.  Anyway…”

“So, yeah, (Insleton) says he knows this guy that sells weed and dope and shit, maybe some fucked up hippie shit too, you know, like that acid or ‘shrooms or some shit, I think he said DMT, whatever the fuck that is, and that he’s some big shit dealer for the rich kids from (the Univeristy of) Penn(sylvania).  He said that he had had this plan all made up for a minute before he finally went and fucked them dudes up, and he was all fucking proud of himself for coming up with this BIG idea. Man, I think he was full of shit, like he was completely fucking sure that he was gonna get away with it and go get that “shit load of loot and shit,” even though he was sittin’ in lock up with me.  To be straight with you, I bet it was like $50 and a bag a wet, but I wouldn’t a told him that—cause’a how he had that crazy fucking look in his eye, for real, and I do NOT mess with crazy mother fuckers! At least not no more. Anyway… 

(Insleton) said he had been over to this guys house a few times to buy shit and that this mother fucker always had a Glock-9 sitting on the table at the top of the stairs, “ready for action—you know, just in case.” (Insleton) says he got this dude to trust him by buying a bunch a shit, but you know that fucking dealer didn’t trust shit…I mean, come on!, he kept a fucking piece sitting out so he could quick grab that shit and cap mother fuckers if shit went down…you know that mother fucker was on his own shit, and trust was not a part of it.  Anyway…  

He (
Insleton) says that he goes to this dudes house to pick up and starts chillin: he’s all like, “yo I smoked a fatty and drank their beer and shit, and when I thought they were all mellowed out I went to take a piss, which was up stairs, and I came down with the gun and shot the two dipshits on the couch so that the head dude would come after me, which—of course—he did, so I could shoot him right in his fat fucking head when he was at the bottom of the stairs.” He says it like he was all fucking proud, cause he thought it was all genius or some shit, cause this way he could tell the cops that the fucking dude flipped out and shot his two dumbass friends on the couch while he was taking a piss, and that he came down and just, you know, all Jackie Chan like and shit, took the gun from the mother fucker and shot him in self defense. I mean, like the fuckin’ cops would ever believe that kind of shit, right? 
But (Insleton) was fucking straight laced, like he was all on his own dick and shit, and that’s when he says he started a little fire of some of the dude’s shit (money and drugs) in the sink so that the cops think all the shit is done and he could, like, stash the rest of that shit under the back porch and pick it up when he got out, and he thought he best part was that the smoke would get the cops all types of fucked up and shit, you know—“just to fuck with their heads” he kept saying—but I think HE was the one that was all fucked up and shit.  He was talking like a fuckin’ nutter, and I swear his fuckin’ eyes were gonna pop the fuck out a his fuckin’ head.


(Insleton) says he did all this so that he could kill a fucking piece of shit dealer, steal his cash and shit, fuck with the cops and get away scott-fuckin’-free, but the cops pro’lly didn’t believe a fuckin’ word of his cracked ass story and they locked his ass up in here with me—and I ain’t even fuckin’ did nothing but try to get my dick wet! Whatever… Anyway…

Fuckin’, (Insleton) won’t shut the fuck up while he is in here.  He’s all yelling about the fuckin’ Jews and shit the whole fuckin’ time, I don’t even fuckin’ know what the fuck he was on about, and after a couple of hours or something the cop on duty just couldn’t take that shit anymore and started yelling back at him, like “shut the fuck up in there or I’m gonna come a shut you up!”; I bet he was fuckin’ Jew cop or something and that’s why he got a fucking stick up his ass and shit, but man he flipped the fuck out. After they was yelling at each other for a bit the cop gets the other mother fucker on duty and drags him, (Insleton) I mean, out of the cell and down the hall, screaming like a fuckin’ maniac and shit the whole fucking time; I couldn’t see or nothing, but I heard them beatin’ the shit out of him, and finally I see that other mother fucker walk past and get the American flag that they had out in the bookin’ room and come back, smiling like a mother fucker and shit, and after a minute or so it got all quiet and shit. 

Like I said, I couldn’t really see, but I heard the cops like gruntin’ and shit, like they was lifting something, and then I see them walk back with a bloody fucking flag pole that ain’t got no flag on it, and they was smiling like a fucking bunch a' bitches.  When they was gone I got over to the edge of the cell I was in and, shiiiiiiiit!, I could fuckin’ see a reflection in the window of the door at the end of the hall—I was like “Oh shit!” I mean, I don’t know for sure, but I swear I saw him hanging by his fucking neck from the American flag, with his fuckin’ pants off and fuckin’ blood and shit dripping from his fucking legs.  It was some nasty fucking shit, yo, real talk, and you know ain’t nothing gonna be done about it neither, right? Bullshit, if you ask me.

Crazy as he might a' been, ain’t nobody deserve nothing like that.”

The local media reported the death of Jonathan Ernst Insleton as the “much appreciated suicide of a traitor to the American way of life,” willfully ignoring the coroner’s report of rape and the obvious signs of battery, which would have undoubtedly lead one to assume, correctly, that it should have been treated as a homicide; needless to say, no criminal case was ever filed.   

   Jon Inselton was an anarchist of a rather crude sort. His flame burned, albeit not all that brightly, and--sadly--which is to say, much to his dismay--too much escaped the fire.